Pillow TalkⓇ - Questions and Answers About Sleep

Questions and Answers About Sleep

I am writing this hoping for help. I suffer from temporary sleep paralysis. The episodes usually last a couple of minutes and occur during different stages of sleep. During these episodes I usually try to move, which proves pointless. Also, I find myself attempting to speak out for help, also futile. My partner has witnessed these episodes and states "It's just as scary to watch as it is to probably experience it." He has witnessed me trying to move my head and arms with "all the might possible" and getting nowhere. There are times (semi-frequently) where hallucinations accompany these episodes. My eyes are open and it's as if I can see beings (just last night it was a "demon" type character crouching on top of the dresser). However, as soon as I am able to move my body again the hallucination will end. It takes a few minutes for me to realize that it was a hallucination. I have to get up move around for a bit and finally am able to return back to sleep. On occasion the episode will repeat itself. The problem is this disorder is really affecting my daytime performance. When I started having these episodes about a year ago they were not frequent and thus really a non issue. It has now got to the point to where I am having these paralysis episodes 3-5 (sometimes more!) times per week. It has caused insomnia because I am afraid to fall asleep. Oddly enough not due to the infrequent hallucinations but the overwhelming fear of having to endure the paralysis yet again. I have not gone through any stressful events recently, nor suffering from depression. I have not had a sleep study done, ever. At this point, however, I am willing to do, try, take anything if it means getting my regular and healthy sleep schedule back.

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See your doctor and ask to see a sleep specialist. There are meds that are actually formulated for other disorders such as depression and anxiety that in alot of cases work for sleep paralysis and the syptoms you are describing. Mine started at the age of 14 and were pretty much horrifying; I took clomipramine for MANY years but recently switched to cipralex. Both work MOST of the time with regard to sleep paralysis unfortunately the latter is not controlling my cataplexy; I have narcolepsy. A sleep specialist may well have other suggestions.

Good Luck


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